Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
for you are the beginning and end of all time.
You are the Alpha and Omega,
for all time belongs to you.
To you be praise and glory for ever.
By your holy and glorious wounds,
guard us and keep us safe from all evil.
May your light ever shine before us
to keep us on the way of salvation,
to bring us rejoicing into the eternal city of light.
To you be praise and glory for ever and ever.
Risen Lord, come and reveal yourself to us,
in the upper room of all our fears.
May we hear afresh your words of peace.
Come and join us on the seashore of our busy distracted lives,
with the gift of hope and a new way forward.
Bring us to the mountain of your holy presence,
and breathe your creative spirit upon us.
Extend your hands of blessing over us
so that we may live always in the power of your life-giving Spirit
and so daily witness to the reality of your Risen life
in our world today.
by C. S.
Seeing and Believing
Although we believe without seeing,
we rely on the faithful witness of those who saw and believed.
All this was recorded so that you might come to believe.
Let us not forget the importance of those early witnesses -
seeing, hearing, eating with the Lord,
and then seeking to share the unbelievable news:
through recounting the treasured words and actions of the Master.
May we always give thanks for them
that although we do not see, we can believe.
For we are part of the company
that will never see the empty tomb,
never hear directly the voice or touch the wounds,
whilst our feet are firmly on earthy ground.
But we believe that in the fulness of time, we shall see him as he is.
In the meantime we live by faith,
but we know in our deepest self the Lord is here, His Spirit is with us:
in the powerful proclamation of the Gospel,
in the faithful breaking of the bread,
in a word or action of someone we meet,
in the silence of waiting on God,
in the healing of old or new wounds of body or mind
in the facing of death.
Meanwhile, we rejoice in the treasured Beatitude
held out to us because of wavering Thomas.
Out of one man's doubt, countless faith has been embraced,
and Christ's blessing has been poured out on us:
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.
It is the first day of the week,
the Son has risen to never set,
and Alleluia is our endless song.
Detail from - Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio
By His wounds we are being healed
No sooner has the Risen Christ
brought his greeting of peace
to the fearful and confused disciples
than he shows them his wounds.
Why do the resurrection appearances focus so much on his wounds?
Because the Risen Christ is one with the Crucified Christ.
The stations of the cross and the crucifixes remain
in our churches – though now surrounded by candles
and the smell of spring flowers and possibly incense.
The victory of the cross is forever proclaimed in the Easter Gospel,
for the Risen Lord is still deeply moved by wounded humanity.
If Jesus’ wounds were like the patient leaving hospital,
then the Resurrection would only comfort us
in the world to come and we would be alone
with the pain or suffering life brings us.
The Risen Jesus seeks to transform our wounds.
Jesus sends his disciples out and most of them will know a martyr’s death.
They can embrace any rejection in proclaiming the truth
because they have seen and been healed by the wounds of Christ.
We can hide in our upper rooms
but all over the world many thousands of followers
take the risk of being hurt or rejected.
Will we venture out?
Courage is not the absence of fear but refusing to be enslaved by fear.
We can be sent out to forgive rather than be embittered or nurse our wounds.
We can continue to show compassion even when any gratitude is never offered.
We can live by the teaching of Christ,
when society around us lives by very different standards
- and it is so much easier to go with the flow.
The risen Christ comes to us and says, Peace,
and shows us his wounds - the source of our healing.
The grace of the Resurrection is not a magic wand that banishes all evil,
but a wonderful mysterious force
that is capable of transforming everything - even death.
For the wounds of Christ remain in his body, so that we
might be healed and share in that healing work of Christ,
so that we might be sent out as witnesses of these things,
to help bring about a changed world that knows the peace of Christ
and the vitality of new creative life.
C.S. - Based on the teaching of a Carthusian & Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
A New Creation in Christ
Our first creation was only Act 1,
a prelude to the new creation in Christ.
Each time a new person comes into being
there is a new way for Christ to be expressed in the world.
We each have the responsibility
to develop this new creation.
As Christ was transfigured both on the mountain
and in his Risen Body;
so our everyday selves
can be exposed to the transfiguring glory of God.
To pray before the Light of Christ
is to seek the mind (the will) of the Risen Christ
for us, for our church and for the world.
As we begin to live that prayer
our weary bodies, our wavering minds
with all our limitations, our disappointments,
even our terrible mistakes,
together with our moments of vision,
our faithful loving surrender,
are brought together by the ongoing saving activity
of the one we call Saviour.
When Jesus places his hands on blind eyes and deaf ear,
When Jesus heals through words of forgiveness,
God is at work, not patching up the old creation
but bringing in the new.
The Passion of Christ gives birth to Salvation
The Resurrection of the Christ -
the joyous celebration of our new birth.
The Risen Christ now comes to us
greets us - shows us his wounds made glorious
and breathes the Spirit of God into our lives
and we receive new life -
not a patched up old life or cheap recycled grace,
but grace that amazes because it is a new creation.
New grace to fulfil new responsibilities,
and the well of this life will never dry up.
It is an uncontrollable fountain
welling up to eternal life Now!
Detail from - Resurrection of Christ by Raphael